In a legal setback for former President Donald Trump, U.S. District Judge Lewis A. Kaplan has ruled that Trump “is required to sit for a defamation lawsuit,” according to the Washington Examiner.
Kaplan’s Wednesday ruling comes after several years of court proceedings initiated by a woman who claimed Trump raped her some time “between the autumn of 1995 and spring of 1996,” according to Reuters.
The vague details, a complaint not being filed within the statute of limitations and the lack of supporting evidence led to that suit not being pursued. However, it did not prevent the woman, E. Jean Carroll, a longtime Elle magazine advice columnist, from publishing her account in New York magazine when Trump was serving as president.
White House Press Secretary Stephanie Grisham responded to Carroll’s article, saying “the story is a fraud – just like the author.” She added, “The story she used to try and sell her trash book never happened, period.”
Trump strongly denied the allegations and told The Hill in 2019 that she was “totally lying.”
Trump added: “I’ll say it with great respect: Number one, she’s not my type. Number two, it never happened. It never happened, OK?”
Carroll responded to Trump’s comments by filing a defamation complaint in a New York State Court, claiming the former president lied and “smeared her integrity, honesty, and dignity” by spewing a “swarm of related lies” in explaining why she would make the incident up.
On Wednesday, Kaplan rejected Trump’s request that the deposition be delayed and reprimanded Trump’s legal team for attempting to “delay the collection of evidence in the lawsuit.”
Kaplan added that Trump “should not be permitted to run the clock out” on the plaintiff in this case.
Kaplan’s reprimand continued:
“Given his conduct so far in this case, Mr. Trump’s position regarding the burdens of discovery is inexcusable. As this Court previously has observed, Mr. Trump has litigated this case since it began in 2019 with the effect and probably the purpose of delaying it.”
As of Wednesday, the deposition is scheduled for Oct. 19.
The Washington Examiner reported that in late September of this year, the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals voted in a split decision to ask an appeals court in Washington, D.C., for input to help determine whether or not Trump was acting in his role as president in 2019 when he made his comments about Carroll. A yes answer to that question could grant Trump immunity in the matter.
The appeals court found that though Trump was president when he made his comments, “it could not conclude whether his statements fell within his range of employment.”
Carroll is also planning to file a new rape suit against Trump in late November at which time a new law (Adult Survivors Act) goes into effect, allowing rape victims to “sue those they allege sexually assaulted them, regardless of the statute of limitations.”
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